Retired teacher Carla Verba leaves lasting impact on MSD students’ lives

Recently retired social studies teacher Carla Verba stands with an award in hand, which she received for the impact she has made in students lives. Verba taught for 32 years at MSD and has developed a deep connection to the school in the process. “I think I will miss the school itself the most, Verba said. I’ve been here for so long that I’ve seen all of the changes that have been made for the better and better.
Recently retired social studies teacher Carla Verba stands with an award in hand, which she received for the impact she has made in students’ lives. Verba taught for 32 years at MSD and has developed a deep connection to the school in the process. “I think I will miss the school itself the most,” Verba said. “I’ve been here for so long that I’ve seen all of the changes that have been made for the better and better.”
Chelsea Townsend

With a PowerPoint presentation displayed on the promethean board, Carla Verba begins her lecture. Passionately walking students through the lesson, she makes her appreciation for teaching and the subject she teaches clear. Hoping to impart the love she has for Advanced Placement Human Geography onto her students, she aims to help them succeed in her class and beyond.

Having been a teacher for 43 years, with 32 of those years being at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, social studies teacher Carla Verba has decided to retire after years of leaving her mark on the school and its students. It is at MSD that she has made a home for herself and found herself deeply dedicated to the goal of pushing her students to become the best and most successful versions of themselves that they can be.

While Verba’s passion for teaching is evident, she was not always sure it was the direction she wanted to take her career in. It was only in her sophomore year of college at Concord University that she finally settled on a career as an educator. Prior to teaching at MSD, Verba also taught for seven years at Coral Springs High School.

Teaching Exceptional Student Education, as well as a vast array of other social studies classes, including AP European History, International Relations, AP World History and more, there was one she found to be the most rewarding: AP Human Geography. Verba began teaching the subject in 2001 and continued to do so right up until her last year teaching in a classroom, the 2022-2023 school year.

Finding the subject matter to be relatable and informative to patterns in real life as well as her own, Verba has an endless appreciation for the class and her years spent teaching it.

“It [AP Human Geography] taught me that everything changes and is constantly evolving,” Verba said. “You can resist it, but it still comes. As the world changes, it is best to see why and change yourself for the better too.”

As one of the founding members of MSD’s social studies program, Verba has been with the school through good and bad, and has left a lasting legacy at MSD in more ways than one. Verba served on the School Advisory Council, created the school orientation program Fly Like An Eagle, sponsored the Model United Nations and the Silver Knight program, all of which were fueled by her passion for improving students’ lives.

“When I look back over things, I am happy with what I did,” Verba said. “When I look across all the many graduates and what they went on to accomplish, and knowing that I had some part in that, I share that joy.”

Early in her teaching career, Verba received the advice, “Be the best you can be and leave it better than it was.” This was a sentiment that she has carried with her over the course of the past 43 years.

“I was and am serious about what I did,” Verba said. “When I think about teaching, it isn’t the subject matter that comes to mind. It is building foundations and getting students to believe in themselves and that they can do it. Confidence is half the battle.”

Upon reflecting on her many years of teaching, countless examples of how she has positively impacted students came to mind. Nevertheless, one specific instance in which a student began working in New York after college due to a field trip Verba took his class on came to mind.

“To think that the whole direction of this student’s life changed because of a small action of mine,” Verba said. “I get emails from them sometimes, and it makes me think and truly be appreciative of what I do.”

Her students are, after all, what Verba found to be the most rewarding part of her job, and just knowing that she played even a small role in their lives has, to her, made her job worth it.

“You take a look out when you sit there and see all the graduates walking out on that stage,” Verba said. “You see their parents are celebrating them, and you know that you did something to make them happy; you gave them something to fuel their own experiences and knowing that you will always have even a little part in that is incredible.”

Verba’s dedication to improving students’ lives and MSD’s school culture is not something that has gone unnoticed. Her colleagues and many others have come to recognize just how much of a difference she has made at the school.

“Mrs. Verba is one of the best educators I’ve ever had the privilege of working with,” principal Michelle Kefford said. “She loves MSD, the students and the community and is just an incredible example of what a teacher should be.”

For her commitment to teaching and for the lasting impact she has made in the lives of MSD students, the City of Parkland presented Verba with an award on Dec. 13.

“On behalf of the City of Parkland City Commission, we are grateful for the almost four decades of education you have shared with students in Broward County and for your more than 30 years of service as an educator in the City of Parkland,” commissioner Bob Mayersohn said. “Thank you for all you have done to inspire young minds and congratulations on your retirement.”

Verba’s last year teaching in the classroom was the 2022-2023 school year, but she did not officially retire until the very end of 2023. Instead, she continued to do administrative work at MSD, like lunch monitoring and dealing with senior decals, throughout the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year.

As of 2024, however, she has officially retired and knows it will be an adjustment. It will not be easy to leave something that she has been doing for so long and saying that she will miss her students, colleagues and job in general, would be an understatement.

“I will miss everything, the people that I’ve had the privilege of working with and have made such a huge contribution to my life,” Verba said. “And I will of course miss the students, because they truly enrich a teacher’s life too, it isn’t a one sided exchange.”

Still, Verba looks forward to what is to come, which includes traveling, spending time with her husband and generally focusing on herself. Despite everything, retirement is a new chapter of her life and one that she is ultimately ready to embark on.

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About the Contributors
Andie Korenge, Feature Editor
Andie Korenge is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Feature Editor for Eagle Eye News. She enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her family and friends in her free time.
Jasmine Bhogaita, News Editor
Jasmine Bhogaita is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and she is a News Editor for Eagle Eye News. She is involved in the ISA and Book Club at MSD. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, playing the piano and spending time with family and friends.
Chelsea Townsend, Photo Editor
Chelsea Townsend is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a member of the TV Club; enjoying anything to do with cameras as well as playing chess.
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